Kickbacks, conspiracy, rorts

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 25 Juni 2013 | 19.55

KICKBACKS to public servants, a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and a 10-year travel expenses rort have been revealed in a report by the Tasmanian Integrity Commission.

Commission CEO Diane Merryfull released an Investigations Report as part of a bid to be more transparent about the work of the anti-corruption body.

Releasing the report today, Ms Merryfull said she was not concerned that none of the investigations had resulted in criminal charges.

"We're not disappointed. It's not our job to make decisions like that. The Act provides that we gather the information and refer it to those people who make those decisions," she said.

"They make their decisions based on their operating responsibilities. We don't feel disappointed or otherwise about their decisions."

The first of the three investigations revealed $2 million worth of stock for the stores and canteen at Risdon Prison had been sourced without compliance with procurement policies between 2008 and 2011.

Stocktakes were not carried out, over-ordering was written off and inmates were allowed to use prison computers, the internet and make unauthorised telephone calls, the report found.

Staff bought unauthorised items for prisoners - including contraband items - and stock was removed for personal use.

And one staff member received kickbacks from providers including a Playstation, tickets to football matches, gift cards and a golf club.

The Integrity Commission noted that while the misconduct was easily identifiable by supervisors, no meaningful attempt was made to deal with the issues.

The second case concerned a Department of Justice employee - who the Mercury understands to be a prison officer - accused of having "inappropriate contact" with a client.

The officer denied the accusation and produced a statutory declaration from their partner providing an alibi.

The Integrity Commission discovered EFTPOS transactions showed the officer had lied about their whereabouts.

When confronted, the officer admitted asking for the false statutory declaration and the partner admitted lying.

The officer was sacked. Police decided to take no action over the false declaration.

The third case revealed in the report concerned a public servant who had made 50 suspect claims for travel expenses totalling $10,000 over 11 years.

The report noted that the manager was unable to explain why some claims were contradicted by documentary evidence and resigned upon becoming aware of the investigation so no disciplinary action could be taken.

That matter has been referred to Tasmania Police.

david.killick@news.com.au


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